collaborative projects

  Dorie Ellzey Blesoff
Oak Park, Illinois

Doris's art 2

I felt moved to honor the entire life cycle that was evident from the now-empty pomegranate shell. I collected natural treasures that also bespoke of a life created, nourished and launched, such as egg shells, peanut shells, and seed pods.   

Over the past year I have been learning more about the Rune alphabet, used by the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe since prehistoric times. I found three Runes that symbolized to me the three stages of the life cycle I wanted to lift up:  Perth (vessel giving birth), Berkana (rite of passage, feminine mysteries), and Raido (journey, the path of a person’s life).

Doris's art 1I selected a basket as the base of my work because it is a container, just like a shell, pod, or womb.  I chose three colors to correspond to each Rune/phase of life cycle.  I chose Black to symbolize the Void/all potential, Red to represent Blood of living, Green to represent nourishment and growth. I painted the basket, egg shells, peanut shells, and seed pods various combinations of Black, Red, and Green, highlighting the Runes in gold. On the back of the pomegranate, which I hung from the basket top, I painted a gold spiral, representing the overall cycle of all Life. In my writing I included words from others that expressed the essence of each Rune/color/aspect of the life cycle, as well as my own words from songs or poems I have written. 

The three Runes and the phases of the pomegranate’s life, as well as excerpts, are below.

  first Rune 
Honor the seed pod.

Sacred womb.  Promise of potential.  Nourishing.

The Black Whole. The holder of new life. Essence in “to be” form. Undifferentiated one-ness. Be still and know that “I am.”  Be patient, and trust.

—For Pomegranate, May, 2007

 second Rune
Honor the cracking open.

Sacred birth and rebirth. Promise of new life. One form lets go, another emerges.

“Old orders are cracking, like a brittle shell they’re cracking, cracking, New things are emerging in Creation’s name.”

From “Boomerang”, ©1985, Dorie Ellzey

third Rune
Honor the seed’s journey.

Sacred cycle of life…death…life…Promise of eternity.

I believe that death is not an end, it is only another change.

My cousin, Sandy Carlson, several weeks before her death on March 1, 2007



Dorie Ellzey Blesoff is an Organizational Development consultant providing facilitation, coaching, team-building, and leadership development related to strategic change initiatives. She teaches at Northwestern University’s Center for Learning & Organizational Change. Dorie is also a singer/song-writer whose work can be heard on the CD, “Handin’ Down the Love.” Copyright 2012 Pat Allen